- Charles Sturt signs MoU with Transgrid which will create opportunities for training, research and infrastructure in Wagga Wagga
- Partnership will also bring substantial economic growth and job opportunities to the Riverina
- Member for Riverina, Member for Wagga Wagga, and Wagga Wagga City Council Mayor congratulate both organisations on important partnership
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Charles Sturt University and Transgrid will bring opportunities for students and research as well as helping to create jobs and a substantial economic boost for the Riverina by growing Wagga Wagga into “the hub of the energy transformation in NSW”.
The partnership was announced at the University’s Wagga Wagga campus and drew praise from Member for Riverina, The Hon Mr Michael McCormack; Member for Wagga Wagga, Dr Joe McGirr; and Wagga Wagga City Council Mayor, Mr Greg Conkey, OAM.
Under the terms of the MoU, Charles Sturt and Transgrid will seek to develop opportunities for research and infrastructure, while training, education and employment pipelines for Charles Sturt students and First Nations people will also be developed.
These collaborations will facilitate the successful completion of two major, clean energy projects being delivered by Transgrid which are centred on Wagga Wagga:
- EnergyConnect – a 900-kilometre electricity transmission line being built between Wagga Wagga and Robertstown in South Australia (with a connection to Red Cliffs in Victoria) which will help connect more solar and wind generation and will generate $4billion in economic benefit
- HumeLink - a proposed 500kV transmission line which will connect Wagga Wagga, Bannaby and Maragle which will help unlock the full capacity of the expanded Snowy Hydro Scheme
Charles Sturt Vice-Chancellor Professor Renée Leon said the MoU was in keeping with Charles Sturt’s strategy and standing as Australia’s leading regional university.
“Charles Sturt University is proud to announce another partnership with industry that will open up opportunities for our students, lead to collaboration on impactful research, and grow the skills and infrastructure in our regional communities,” she said.
“The University has a keen focus on ensuring the skills and infrastructure are in place that will generate thousands of jobs and assist Australia’s transition to a clean energy future.
“We welcome the start of what we believe will be a long and important partnership with Transgrid which will benefit the Riverina and regional Australia.”
TransGrid’s Executive Manager for Delivery Mr Craig Stallan said the partnership with Charles Sturt is an important part of investing in the region as it enables renewable energy.
“We are leading Australia’s transition to clean energy future and it’s incredibly exciting, particularly for Wagga Wagga, as it will become the hub of the energy transformation in NSW,” he said.
“The shift to clean energy will bring thousands of new jobs, many in regional NSW, and we’re delighted to be partnering with Charles Sturt University to help develop the local workforce we will need to be based here for many years to come to run and maintain new infrastructure.
“We want to leave Wagga Wagga better than we found it and creating education and training opportunities will play a key role in that.”
Charles Sturt and Transgrid have agreed to discuss several projects stemming from the MoU, including:
- Scholarships, cadetships, training and graduate employment opportunities for students, including First Nations students
- The co-creation of educational programs, including in electrical engineering, virtual reality and drone training
- Collaborative research projects and programs
- Organising joint industry and research activities, such as courses, conferences, seminars, symposia or lectures
Mr McCormack said this partnership was another example of exciting and powerful opportunities being created in rural and regional Australia.
“I am delighted Charles Sturt University and Transgrid have signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at facilitating education, research and business cooperation,” he said.
“By joining hands, these two progressive organisations will deliver great outcomes for the community and strengthen each other.
“The partnership will deliver scholarships, cadetships, training and graduate employment for students and could potentially lead to a training centre of excellence at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga.
“I congratulate Charles Sturt University and Transgrid for getting together and developing this major undertaking and I wish you all the best for a successful collaboration.”
Dr McGirr also welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding between Charles Sturt University and TransGrid.
“This will mean more research, training and employment opportunities for our region,” he said.
“I am looking forward to Charles Sturt University further increasing its presence in our community and I look forward to the TransGrid construction bringing benefits to the community and region through better pathways to employment and better teaching and research opportunities.”
Mr Conkey congratulated Charles Sturt and Transgrid on the partnership and welcomed the prospect of more diverse educational opportunities for students.
“Education and training are the key to a skilled workforce. Our educators are no doubt a vital link in that process and to provide more opportunity in specialised fields, whilst engaging new technologies, puts this city in a perfect position to attract more students,” Cr Conkey said.
“Providing those students with full-time job opportunities after they have graduated is a major contributing factor when it comes to growing and maintaining our population in the regions.
“Wagga Wagga is aiming for a population of 100,000 people by the year 2038, so to see more opportunities for those seeking a high level of education in new and challenging fields is promising for our region.”
The partnership is the latest in a range of agreements recently announced between Charles Sturt and industry leaders.
IBM Australia will base its Client Innovation Centre at the University’s Bathurst campus. The partnership with IBM Australia will provide scholarship opportunities for students, grow the University’s cyber security and data science research capabilities and allow for the co-creation of IT courses.
It was also announced recently that Axiom Connected will co-locate its new Australian headquarters to Charles Sturt in Port Macquarie in January 2022.
The University’s partnership with Marathon Health will benefit students and the communities by ensuring the provision of allied health workers in regional Australia.